IRISH LEAGUE: Stephen Baxter hails his super Crues after they beat Linfield

Crusaders  Jordan Forsythe  scores
Crusaders Jordan Forsythe scores

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter punched the air with delight following his team’s win over Linfield at Seaview on Tuesday night.

Goals from Jordan Forsythe and Paul Heatley sent the Crues up to second place in the Danske Bank Premiership table.

It was the first time the Shore Road team had beaten the Blues in seven starts and who they enjoyed it at the finish. Incredibly, it was the first time Linfield suffered defeat since losing to Coleraine on January 3.

Baxter hailed his boys afterwards, stating: “We have put on a great show here tonight,” he gushed. “This was a wonderful advertisement for Irish League football.

“The two goals along were worth the admission money. But we seen a great spectacle from both teams. The two teams went at it . . . they were like two heavyweight boxers.

“We dominated the first half, and Linfield came into it in the second half.

“But the goals we got were quality . . . and we may have had a few more.

“We restricted Linfield to the long ball and they got in behind us for the one time and they made it count.

“Outside of that, the didn’t carve us open in any shape of form, so that was pleasing from our point. But the same token, it’s early doors in this league campaign. It’s only three points.”

In contrast, Blues boss David Healy was non too complimentary about his team’s defending.

“The performance was unacceptable. We were totally over run. For us, it was a non-event. We lost the game in that first half. I was surprised how poor we were - from one to eleven. No, I’ll exclude Roy Carroll.

“While Forsythe’s goal was a wonderful strike, from our point, it just wasn’t good enough.

“Crusaders are a good side. When you give people like Heatley opportunities he’ll punish you.”